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Easy Tips and Tools to Handle Your Work Email Better

Easy Tips and Tools to Handle Your Work Email Better

Table of Content

As they say, 'A stitch in time saves nine.' If you're constantly wrestling with an overflowing inbox, it's high time you took a proactive approach to manage your work email.

This discussion will arm you with 12 practical tips and tools that'll help you declutter your inbox, prioritize important correspondences, and automate tedious tasks. With these strategies, you'll not only reclaim lost time but also significantly reduce your stress levels.

Curious about how you can make your email work for you and not the other way around? Well, let's dive into it and start your journey towards a more organized, less stressful digital life.

Key Takeaways

  • Setting boundaries and prioritizing: Establish specific times for checking emails, prioritize important tasks, and allocate focused attention to each email.
  • Managing notifications and distractions: Turn off email notifications, check emails at times that work best for you, and remove work email from personal devices.
  • Organizing and automating: Categorize and label emails, utilize automation tools for scheduling and communication, and streamline communication through shared inboxes.
  • Focus on essentials and email cleanup: Set specific time blocks for handling emails, use labels and folders for organization, prioritize important emails, and regularly unsubscribe and delete unnecessary emails.

12 Tips and Tools to Better Manage Your Work Email

To better manage your work email, it's crucial to implement effective strategies and tools that can help streamline your email handling process. Email management isn't simply about responding to messages. It's about organizing them in a way that enhances your productivity.

So, let's break down some tips to help you manage emails more efficiently.

Firstly, set boundaries. Decide when you'll check your emails and stick to it. This prevents you from constantly being distracted by incoming messages.

Next, organize your inbox. Use folders, labels, or categories to sort your emails. This will make it easier to find specific emails when you need them.

Automation can be a lifesaver. Use filters to automatically sort your emails into the appropriate folders. This way, you're not spending unnecessary time moving emails around manually.

Focus on essential emails. It's not necessary to respond to every single email you receive. Prioritize your responses based on the importance of the email.

Lastly, move forward. Don't let your inbox become a graveyard of old emails. If an email doesn't require a response or action, archive or delete it.

Maintaining these strategies will help make your email management much more manageable.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries in your email management can be a game-changer, limiting distractions and boosting your productivity. By establishing specific times to check your inbox, you'll avoid those constant interruptions that can derail your focus. This doesn't mean you're ignoring important correspondence, rather, you're controlling when and how you interact with it.

It's also important to set expectations with clients and colleagues about your email response times. When you manage their expectations effectively, you'll be able to balance your workload better. Inform others about your availability for email communication. That way, you'll ensure you have dedicated focus time for tasks beyond your inbox.

Don't let your inbox run your day. Prioritize important tasks and limit the frequency with which you check your email. This simple boundary will help you maintain productivity and minimize distractions.

Lastly, consider incorporating tools into your routine to manage your work email more efficiently. Features like scheduled send, snooze, and categorization can streamline your workflow. Remember, you're in control of your email, not the other way around. Setting these boundaries is the first step to a more productive workday.

1 Set aside specific time blocks to address emails

Dedicating specific time blocks in your day solely to addressing emails can drastically cut down on distractions and boost your productivity. This is one of the 12 tips and tools suggested to better manage your work email. On average, folks check their emails nearly 74 times a day. That's a lot of time that could be better spent on other tasks.

By setting aside specific time blocks to address emails, you're not only curbing this habit, but also reducing the stress and anxiety that comes with constant email checking.

Avoid multitasking when working through your emails. It's tempting, but don't do it. Instead, allocate a fixed time each day to deal with them. This focused attention will lead to more efficient and effective email management. Applying this method ensures you're not spreading your attention too thin and allows you to handle each email with the concentration it deserves.

Tim Ferriss, a productivity guru, suggests using an email template to set expectations for response times. It's a simple tool that can further streamline your email management. Remember, it's all about planning and organising your approach to emails. Achieve this, and you'll notice a significant difference in your productivity.

2 Turn off notifications

While allocating specific time to tackle your emails is effective, it's equally crucial to turn off notifications to avoid unnecessary interruptions throughout your day. Constant chimes, pop-ups, and vibrations from your work email can lead to you constantly getting distracted, breaking your focus and productivity flow.

When you turn off notifications, you're no longer at the mercy of every incoming message. Instead of being constantly interrupted, you can check your emails at times that work best for you. This helps to manage your work email more efficiently, reducing the risk of an overflowing inbox and the stress that comes with it.

Turning off notifications isn't just about avoiding distractions. It's also about reclaiming control over your time and attention. By deciding when to check your emails, rather than reacting to every notification, you can stay focused on your tasks and increase your overall productivity.

3 Remove work email from personal devices

To enhance your work-life balance and reduce stress, it's a good idea to remove work email from your personal devices. This simple step helps set clear boundaries, separating your work and personal life. With your work email readily accessible on your personal devices, it's tempting to constantly check and respond to every notification, eating into your precious personal time.

Removing work email from your personal devices is about more than just avoiding distractions. It's about reclaiming your time and increasing focus. You'll find that without the constant interruption of work email notifications, you can concentrate better on the task at hand, whether that's enjoying time with family or diving deep into a hobby.

Organize and Automate

After reclaiming your time by setting clear boundaries, it's time to organize and automate your email for increased efficiency.

Organizing your inbox can be as simple as categorizing and labeling your emails. Allocate specific blocks of time to manage your work email, this helps avoid constant distractions and boosts your productivity.

Consider automating emails to manage your workload better. Tools like Boomerang can be a godsend, allowing you to schedule emails and control when you send and receive messages. Streamlining communication by assigning emails to different team members in shared inboxes can also improve organization and efficiency.

Don't forget to prioritize. Use features like flagging and setting Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to distinguish important emails. Allocate specific times to respond to these high-priority messages. This not only helps you manage your work email more effectively but also ensures you're addressing the most important tasks first.

1 Utilize folders

Harness the power of folders in your inbox to keep your emails organized and easily accessible. When you utilize folders, you're essentially categorizing your emails, allowing you to find specific messages quicker. It's like filing your paperwork in a cabinet. But instead of papers, you're sorting emails. Your inbox becomes less cluttered, your stress level decreases, and your productivity increases.

Start by creating folders based on your needs. It could be project-based, client-based, or even date-based. The choice is yours and it should reflect your personal work flow. Once you've set them up, make it a habit to promptly move your emails to their respective folders. Don't let them hang around in your inbox.

To make your life easier, utilize filters. These handy tools automatically send incoming emails to designated folders based on your set criteria. You could filter emails by sender, subject, or even certain keywords within the email. This way, your inbox stays clutter-free and you can focus on what really matters.

2 Consider a shared inbox

Considering a shared inbox can revolutionize your team's communication, curtailing the deluge of incoming messages and boosting email management efficiency. When you consider a shared inbox, you're not only simplifying your workflow but also reducing the hassle of continuously incoming emails. It's a way to streamline communication and keep everyone on the same page without drowning in a sea of individual emails.

Shared inboxes allow you to assign emails to specific team members. This feature can drastically improve organization and efficiency in managing your work email. You can also use tools like Hiver to manage shared inboxes for various purposes, enhancing your team's workflow even further.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by group email accounts, converting them into shared inboxes can be a game changer. This approach not only improves internal communication, but also makes it easier to interact with external parties. It's an effective way to manage your work email and ultimately increase your team's productivity.

3 Create default responses

While a shared inbox can effectively streamline your email management, creating default responses is another powerful tool to make your work email handling even more efficient. Known as canned responses, these are pre-written replies that you can use for commonly asked questions or inquiries. They can be a real time-saver and help maintain consistency in your communication.

Most email platforms allow you to create default responses. You can customize them based on different categories or types of emails. For instance, you might've a default response for customer inquiries, another for supplier queries, and yet another for internal communications. This way, you're always prepared with a prompt and efficient reply.

Additionally, you can set up default responses for specific situations or scenarios. This helps streamline your communication and ensures you're always on point. Think of these canned responses as templates you can tweak as needed, allowing you to respond quickly without sacrificing quality or detail.

Focus on the Essentials

Shifting your attention to the essentials can drastically improve your email management. The number of emails we receive daily can be overwhelming, but by focusing on the crucial ones, you'll better manage your time and reduce stress.

To focus on the essentials, start by setting specific time blocks for handling emails. This prevents constant distraction and helps manage your work email more effectively.

Next, simplify your email management by using labels, folders, and categories. This method of organization allows you to quickly identify and address important emails.

Decisiveness is also a key factor. When an email arrives, make a quick decision – respond, delegate, schedule for later, or delete. This avoids the mental load of revisiting emails and keeps your inbox clutter-free.

1 Unsubscribe

In addition to prioritizing your emails, another crucial step to better email management is to ruthlessly unsubscribe from unwanted email lists, thereby significantly reducing your inbox clutter. This might seem like a daunting task, but tools for a mass unsubscribe are available to make this process quick and painless.

Promotional emails make up a significant portion of the clutter in most inboxes. They can tempt you into wasting time or, worse, lead you into the spam folder. By unsubscribing, you're not only reducing clutter but also minimizing the risk of important emails being marked as spam.

You can use the preview feature in your email program to quickly identify these superfluous emails. If an email doesn't immediately seem important or relevant, it's a candidate for unsubscription.

Remember the Five Ds, especially 'delete'. If an email isn't something you need to do, delegate, defer, or designate, then it's probably something you need to delete. Unsubscribing from these lists means fewer such decisions in the future.

In short, be ruthless in your unsubscription process. Your future self will thank you for the cleaner, more manageable inbox.

2 Delete regularly

To keep your inbox clutter-free, you'll need to make a habit of regularly deleting unnecessary and unimportant emails. By doing so, you'll rid your inbox of old emails that are no longer relevant or useful. This step is crucial in maintaining a manageable and organized inbox.

Make it a point to review your incoming email daily. Look for spam or promotional emails that often make their way into your inbox. You don't need these, so get rid of them immediately. Allowing them to pile up will only lead to an overloaded inbox, making it difficult for you to find important emails when you need them.

Don't let a backlog of emails accumulate. If an email is no longer needed, delete it right away. This practice of deleting regularly ensures that only important emails remain, making your management of work email more efficient.

3 Turn it off altogether

While it might seem counterintuitive, turning off your email notifications can actually boost your productivity by eliminating constant distractions throughout your workday. If you're constantly interrupted by pings and pop-ups, you'll find it hard to stay focused. So, why not manage your work email by deciding to turn it off altogether at certain periods?

One tool you can utilise is the 'schedule send' function. This allows you to compose emails in your optimal productivity times and schedule them to be sent later. Use your drafts folder as a to-do list, holding off on sending and receiving until it's time.

Another strategy involves designating specific time slots to check and respond to emails, turning off access outside these times. This 'batch processing' approach prevents your inbox from ruling your day.

To further manage your work email, consider creating an alias account. This helps reduce clutter in your main inbox, as you can sort and manage mail separately.

With these tips and tools, you'll regain control over your inbox, leading to a more streamlined and efficient workday. It's time to break the chains of constant email checking and reclaim your productivity.

Moving Forward

Moving forward, you've got a whole array of strategies to help manage your work email more effectively. These tips and tools are designed to take the stress out of your inbox.

Firstly, setting boundaries is crucial. Allocate specific time blocks in your day to check and respond to emails. This prevents constant distractions and boosts productivity.

Secondly, get organized. Utilize labels, folders, and categories to manage your work email better. It makes locating specific emails a breeze.

Next, adopt the 'Only Handle It Once' method. It's a time-saving technique where you make quick decisions and take immediate action on emails. This reduces mental clutter and keeps your inbox tidy.

Furthermore, read and respond to emails systematically. Consider thread and chronological order. This avoids unnecessary back-and-forth conversations.

Lastly, streamline communication. Assign emails to different individuals in shared inboxes. There's a range of tools out there designed to enhance organization and efficiency in email management.

What Tools Can I Use to Manage My Work Email Better While Working From Home?

When it comes to keeping busy while working from home, utilizing tools like Outlook, Gmail, or Slack can help manage your work email more effectively. Set up folders, filters, and labels to organize emails, use automated responses, and schedule designated times to check and respond to emails to stay productive.


So, there you have it – 12 actionable tips to regain control of your work email.

By setting boundaries, decluttering regularly, and using tools smartly, you can conquer your email overwhelm.

No more stress, just an organized inbox that supports your productivity.

Now, it's time to put these strategies into action.

Embrace this new era of efficient, stress-free communication.

Say goodbye to email chaos and hello to a well-managed digital life.